Graduate Institute for Social Transformation Studies
Founded in 1997, the Graduate Institute for Social Transformation Studies aims to seek out paths for social development that can serve as alternatives to the dictates of both market competition and state commands, and to make development serve human needs instead of mere growth in material wealth. Such social development calls for active, well-motivated, democratic participation of all stakeholders, in a principally bottom-up approach. Rising social consciousness in Taiwan in recent decades and the increasingly diverse and active civic organizations provide a hopeful future for such a democratic vision. New ideas, new means and projects are needed in order to make this emerging trend of social development genuinely progressive. This is a crucial part to consolidating a genuine democratic society based on respect for individuality and protection for the rights of the oppressed. For the past twenty years, Graduate Institute for Social Transformation Studies has sought to develop different forms of pedagogies and curricula which are capable of combining theoretical studies with practices at the grassroots level, in the hope that higher education can help in developing citizens’ capacities to engage in multifaceted public affairs.